Mazda backs algae biofuel research

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Car manufacture Mazda has announced its involvement in joint research projects and studies that aim to promote the wide-spread adoption of biofuels from microalgae growth. The company has become involved with the ongoing industry-academia-government studies as they coincide with its ‘Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030’ long term technology development programme.

Mazda has detailed how it is committed to reducing its average ‘Well-to-Wheel’ CO2 emissions to 50% of the levels recorded in 2010 by 2030, and even hope to reduce it to 90% by 2050.

The company expects that in 2030 internal combustion engines combined with a form of electrification will still be accounting for around 95% of vehicles manufactured. Mazda deems renewable liquid fuel to be essential to drastic CO2 reduction and predicts that it will continue to be dominant in the automotive industry until around 2040. This is also because when burnt, algae biofuel releases CO2 that has only just been removed from the atmosphere through photosynthesis as the algae has grown.

Mazda reason that the use of microalgae as biofuel has many positive attributes as a renewable liquid fuel. This is because algae can be farmed on land that is unsuitable for agriculture and can be grown with minimal impact on freshwater resources. It can also be produced using wastewater and saline and if spilled, is biodegradable and therefore would be fairly harmless to the environment.